Holy unction

Holy unction

Holy unction (ευχέλαιον) is one of the seven sacraments performed and recognized by the Eastern orthodox church on Holy Wednesday. It may be performed on another date if the person requesting it is in immediate need of it or extremely sick. Holy Unction, unlike Communion or Baptism, is not obligatory in the Eastern Orthodox church. It may only be performed on Orthodox Christians. In Greek it is translated to "blessed" or "holy oil". The ritual sacrament is ideally carried out by seven priests, though it may be carried out by a single priest if other clergymen are unavailable. The rite calls for seven readings from the Epistles and Gospels, and seven prayers. One must note the sanctity of the number seven, which is universally symbolic in Christian theology; it took six days to create the Earth, and on the seventh day God rested. It is also possible that it was a carryover from old polytheistic symbolism there were seven wonders of the ancient world and seven planets in the classical world. In receiving the sacrament, the priest anoints the person on the chest, hands, eye lids, and nose. The anointing oil is usually olive oil but other oils can presumably be used. Some Eastern orthodox followers believe this ritual heals spiritual, emotional or bodily afflictions, however it also is for the forgiveness of sins and arguably a form of atonement. This act is performed throughout the Orthodox Church not just in Greece although the word is respective. The holy unction is also a Catholic sacrament and is similarly carried out. However, in the Catholic church, in order to receive Holy unction, one must be of the age of reason, be ashamed of past sins and submit oneself to God's will and be in divine grace due to penance.

ee also

*Anointing of the Sick


* [http://www.saintnicholas.org/holy_unction.htm Holy Unction] Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church
* [http://www.st-seraphim.com/uction.htm The Sacrament of Holy Unction] by The Right Reverend Michael D. Jordan
* [http://www.oca.org/OCchapter.asp?SID=2&ID=55 The Orthodox Faith: Holy Unction] Orthodox Church in America

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